Review: “Knight and Day”

June 26, 2010 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

After bursting onto the movie industry radar with the acclaimed biopic Walk the Line, James Mangold follows up his gritty Western 3:10 to Yuma with the popcorn action/comedy Knight and Day.  It’s dumb, loud, sleek, and at times actually kind of boring.  However, it’s the solid chemistry between the leads that keep this flick from being a straight-to-video release.

The plot here is something out of a 90’s action flick: a government agent ‘goes rogue’ when he’s framed for attempting to steal a top secret renewable energy source.  In order to help clear his name, he actually does steal the energy source, kidnaps its fresh-out-of-high-school creator, and enlists the aide of a random woman he bumps into at the airport, who also happens to fall for him in the end.

What the movie has going for it are some nicely choreographed action scenes, a memorable one being a high-speed chase on the freeway with star Tom Cruise dangling from the roof of a van.  And speaking for Cruise, he and his co-star Cameron Diaz, have some decent on-screen chemistry.  While the script isn’t exactly very strong, the two make the most of it and I bought into the romantic aspects of the story, as forced as they were.  The comedy beats in the story help keep the goofy nature of the movie consistent throughout.  I wouldn’t consider Tom Cruise a great comedic talent, but he gives enough for Cameron Diaz to play off of, plus some of the “drugged” sequences are kind of funny.

As Michael Bay-esque as the movie wants to be, what it lacked was solid pacing.  Coming in at just under two hours, this movie could’ve used some trimming, and probably would’ve been a better flick if it was closer to 90 minutes.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a long movie, as long as I’m engaged throughout.  Here, the transitions between acts went on a little too long, and I admit, I fell asleep for a couple of minutes during the last act.  Michael Bay might be considered a ‘hack’, but at least he know’s how to cut out the boring parts of a story. Mangold and his editor Michael McCusker should’ve taken a play out of Bay’s book and done whatever they could to move the story along a little faster.

Still, despite the pacing complaints, Knight and Day is a solid action movie.  Yes, it’s dumb.  Yes, it’s at times really corny (there’s a shot of Tom Cruise carrying Cameron Diaz as he walks away, slowly, from an explosion).  But, yes, when you get right down to it, it’s still fun.



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